SPEAKING OF FOOD: Last-minute meal a hit with everyone

I was having one of those days. One child had overslept and couldn’t get his contact lenses in. The other child discovered at the last minute that she didn’t have any clean running shorts for Cross Country practice after school. So the whole house was in chaos and tempers were flaring and it wasn’t even 7 a.m.
At work, my computer kept shutting down on me every time I tried to file a story. An interview I had expected to take half an hour ended up lasting three.
My to-do list for the day also included taking my car to the shop, getting one child to the hairdresser and picking up the other from school.
When I finally headed home at 5:45 p.m., frustrated and with very little brain power left, the last thing I wanted to do was pay a visit to the grocery store.
My family hates these days because it usually means they’re getting leftovers or sandwiches for supper. And they do look forward to the evening meal.
So I got home and surveyed the contents of the fridge and the pantry. I had a pack of chicken tenders I’d bought on sale a few days before and two lemons sitting on the kitchen counter.
I decided to experiment.
I got in the kitchen and started working on cubing chicken and making a lemon glaze, just by guessing on ingredients. With trepidation, I plated the food and held my breath.
Indeed, everyone cleaned their plates.
“Mom, you know what the only problem is with this meal?” my young son said. “You didn’t make enough. Can we have this again next week?”
Music to my ears.
Lemon Chicken
1 cup all-purpose flour
Salt and pepper
11/2 pounds chicken tenders, cubed
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
Zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup brown sugar
Hot cooked white rice
In a shallow dish, combine flour and salt and pepper. Dredge chicken in flour mixture until thoroughly coated. Sautampé chicken in hot oil in a non-stick skillet until done, about 4 to 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine chicken broth, lemon juice, lemon zest and sugar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved. (Zest one lemon before squeezing the juice from it.)
When chicken is done, add lemon mixture to the skillet and stir until chicken is thoroughly coated. The flour from the chicken should thicken the mixture. When chicken has a glaze on it, pour it over hot cooked rice and serve.
Makes 4 servings.
Ginna Parsons is the Daily Journal’s food/home/garden editor.

Ginna Parsons

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